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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst

 


Maker(s):Henri, Robert
Culture:American (1865-1929)
Title:Salome Dancer
Date Made:1909
Type:Painting
Materials:oil on canvas
Measurements:canvas: 77 1/4 in x 36 15/16 in; 196.2 cm x 93.8 cm
Accession Number:  AC 1973.68
Credit Line:Museum purchase
Hi-res image on file

Description:
literary; biblical subject

Label Text:
Broad, slashing strokes give powerful shape to this defiant female figure standing with parted legs, a pose more athletic—even pugilistic—than seductive. Her oppositional posturing matched the painter’s contrary aesthetic sensibilities. The Realist painter Henri sought a provocative and timely subject in Salome, the biblical figure who served as her mother’s dutiful pawn in facilitating King Herod’s assassination of John the Baptist. By the late nineteenth century Salome had evolved into a far more aggressive and decadent creature, as witnessed in Oscar Wilde’s notorious play of 1891. That Henri adopted the theme in 1909 suggests his desire to capitalize on Salome’s high currency for controversy, which had been confirmed by the New York Metropolitan Opera’s scandal-provoking performance of Richard Strauss’s Salome (based on Wilde’s play) in 1907. The gleam of amusement that enhances Salome’s haughty expression slyly evokes her complicity in constructing Henri’s own reputation as a radical painter.

3 Related Media Items


Lyrics with original sheet music cover for "Sadie Salome Go Home" by Irving Berlin

Sadie Salome Go Home by Irving Berlin, performed by Edward M. Favor ca. 1909
Lyrics with original sheet music cover for
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